Sunday 24 September 2017

Dark Music Review – Child of Rage

Dark Music Review – Child of Rage

Review by Casey Douglass

Album Description: The inspiration for this concept album is quite dark and disturbing inspired by the 1992 film of the same name which you can read about here. If you put the phrase into google, you can even find the movie which is recommended watching to further get a sense of what I hope to convey with the 7 tracks on this album. This film invaded my psyche for weeks, even haunting my dreams and it was at that point that I felt that I had to create my own interpretation of the movie. At first, I was going to go for the noise approach but after some attempts, I didn't feel that it worked out so well so I scrapped what I had done and went back to the drawing board and came up with the tracks you're about to hear. Track 4 was inspired by the original music composed for the movie by Gerald Gouriet. Track 5 was inspired by the music of Rasalhague, in particular, his Rage inside the Window album.

I’d not heard of the film that inspired Scott in the creation of Child of Rage, but a few minutes spent searching the web soon showed it to be something that would likely stick with anyone. Unlike a good number of people though, rather than just shrug it off as time passed, Scott created something that channelled his own feelings and ideas, re-framing it with his own take on the subject, and that’s always a very cool thing.

Child of Rage is a dark ambient album that, to me, evoked a kind of 80s horror aesthetic, so even though I know what inspired it, most of the tracks conjured up images from those kinds of films. It makes great use of various tones to create sinister soundscapes that wax and wane, like the light of a full moon might when battling with a heavy fog. Piano notes add melody too, sometimes giving lightness to the mental vistas created, and sometimes adding a hint of chaotic madness as well.

The first track, An Evil Shadow Lurking in the Night, is one of my favourites and typifies what I mean in the previous paragraph, creating and growing a swell of subtle threat that taps into that old school horror vibe. Pulsing bass, high tones, and piano notes stretch the soundscape into something in which you can almost taste the mist and detect the shifting shadow of a silhouette that wasn't there when you last looked. The piano notes turn frenetic and discordant later in the track, keeping a rhythm but adding lashings of mad energy to things. The last part of the track holds a high tone, like a hang-man’s noose waiting for a neck to choke, before quietening into a quieter state of menace.

Rage That Can Kill, the third track, is another I wanted to mention specifically. It begins with a pulsing vibrating drone, a bit like the insane idling a strange kind of hell-machine might make. A resonant tone builds to a fairly steady ‘ahhh’ like sound, a hollowness entering into the mixture shortly after. The crashing of cymbals grabs the attention more tightly, and a high pitched sound pierces the soundscape like a moth being impaled by a pin. This track gave me the notion of a killer finally getting the victim, the subtle lightness that emerges after the violence of the cymbals seeming to hint at the ‘peace’ the victim might now have. This lightness dimmed or soured a little near the end though, so maybe they didn’t find the peace they were looking for.

Track five, Uninhabitable Conditions, is another track with a dark, vibratory opening, but also has a buzzing swarm-like tone. What I most liked about this track was that the whole thing seemed to be underpinned by a relatively fast pulsing effect, every swell of tone or rumble of bass imbued with this energy. It gives the whole track a pace and punchiness that rocks the brain. I enjoyed this immensely.

These were the tracks that I wanted to be most detailed about, but the others on Child of Rage all fit and expand on the themes and textures that run throughout. I will give a little shout out to Dark Repose for its creepy and warped music-box tones though.

Child of Rage is an atmospheric and moody album that, if your brain was a nice bowl of cereal, would pour over just the right amount of rich, hair-tangled blood. Not enough to make the cereal too soggy, but enough to make it something that seeps into the mind in a most agreeable way. Visit the Child of Rage page on Bandcamp at this link for more info and to have a listen.

I was given a review copy of this album.

Album Title: Child of Rage
Album Artist: Scott Lawlor
Released: April 21, 2016